Welcome to 29 Dates, where we explore the weird, wild, and sometimes wonderful world of dating. Look out for a new story every day this month.
I met Alex* on a dating app around September 2017.
He was very tall, incredibly smart, and hilarious (tick, tick, tick) and we bonded over our love of terrible emo bands.
We went on around three dates over a month or so, and each time he tried to sneak me back to his. I said no because I didn’t feel entirely comfortable around him, and when I didn’t hear from him for a few weeks, I assumed it was because I wouldn’t put out.
I messaged to ask how he was; his reply was aloof, so we left it at that.
One night at the bar, I went to show his Instagram account to a friend and realized he’d completely disappeared. There wasn’t a trace of him.
My gut told me to investigate, so I made a fake Instagram account.
I searched his name and found him within seconds. The last picture he’d posted was of a woman’s hand in his; the caption was confusing. The woman had been very sick and in a coma for a while. She was making good progress, though, and Alex was extremely proud of her for how far she had come.
The woman was tagged, and I found out that she had been in a coma for the entire time we were dating. She was his girlfriend. I fell down a rabbit hole of snooping (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, you name it) and spotted his girlfriend mentioning that she didn’t recognize him at first, as he had started sporting a questionable beard for charity. He was rocking that beard when we were dating, so it all added up.
He messaged me a few months after his radio silence, saying that he could explain why he went MIA, but I didn’t respond. I thought he’d spin me a web of lies. Anyway, I already knew most of the truth…
*Name has been changed